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Prepare for Change: Spring Clean Your Closet…First!

First, begin with a drawer, move on to a closet and keep going; yes, it’s an unexpected consequence of the Pandemic Purge and it’s almost summer. If there’s anything remotely good about staying inside, it does give us an inordinate amount of time in our homes… with our stuff. Assessing the full impact of containment, it’s also been an unexpected opportunity to notice everything in excruciating detail. As much as I pride myself on detesting clutter and moving things out regularly, too much remained and it was time to be highly critical and detach. Rather than the mini perks of small clean-outs, this was a very intensive dump.

“We can never know how much of a burden our possessions have become until we begin to remove them.” – Joshua Becker

Should it go or should it stay? Each season I’ve approached my closet with a mindset of reorganizing everything to make way for shifting clothes from one space to another. It’s the kind of task that is energizing in anticipation of warmer weather and fewer layers to consider. There’s a beginning, middle and end if I can remain focused and unattached to the garments. Sometimes it is very straightforward and sometimes there are stops and starts, events to recall, and reminders of places where I’ve worn a particular outfit. Good thoughts and others mix in with the texture, fragrance and times of the past season; evocative and worth the pause to summon up memories.

However, when getting down to the real business of a seasonal closet reorganization it is easy to get off track and lost in the land of wishful thinking. Sometimes it calls for a merciless extraction exercise to leave you with physical and psychological space. It’s time to purge using the following guidelines:

  1. Stained

  2. Doesn’t fit now, didn’t fit then, won’t fit in this century

  3. Not trendy

  4. Smells

  5. Doesn’t convey the right message

  6. Worn out

  7. Wouldn’t buy it now

  8. You keep trying it on but wouldn’t wear it out of the house

Lastly, a reason often overlooked is the clothing you connect with a bad memory. It might be the gorgeous coat that you splurged on but you associate it with the winter you lost your job, faced a difficult family situation, broke up or were going through a rough patch. Toss it! If it’s a piece left behind by a painful ex, a previous friendship, or anyone negative. Toss it! When you purge your closet of bad memories it is empowering and now baggage free, you can shop for replacements, adding things that you love. What will be appropriate for the new workplace? If you continue to operate remotely or return to your place of business, thoughtful multi-purpose pieces can be appropriate in either environment. Take your time.

Pumped with energy, now it’s time to turn to your desk and workspace. Managing paper files was one issue that couldn’t be hidden, and may no longer be a problem for you. Is your computer organized? How do you handle your messages and emails?

Urgent is not the same as important. There will always be many pressing tasks from phone calls to other crises that have to be handled immediately. However, while these things must be dealt with in a timely fashion, they are not always important. Whether building a business or nurturing a family, and while they may not have deadlines, they require careful attention. Do remember what really is important.

Key to getting organized is recognizing what is important in your life; your family, business, friends, and health. Make appointments, set time in your calendar, cull your stuff on a regular basis and when you feel you’re about to lapse, throw it in your junk drawer. Even better, hire a professional organizer to walk you through the steps of finding a home for everything and doing a little each day to maintain your space.

However comfortable you assumed you were with choice and change, it may morph into overwhelming anxiety that was never anticipated. This makes it the ideal time to engage the support of a certified coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs.


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